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By Texas Department of Public Safety—
AUSTIN – Last year, there were more than 205,000 crashes in counties defined as the Texas Energy Sector by the Texas Railroad Commission, which includes large portions of West Texas, South Texas and even extends into metropolitan areas like Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso.
These crashes, which represent a 3% increase from 2018, resulted in 1,638 traffic fatalities in the state’s Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash, Haynesville/Bossier Shale and Permian Basin.
“Heavy trucks and work crews on state and county roads continue to create a challenging driving environment. That’s why we’re urging every motorist to slow down, drive smart and obey traffic laws to prevent crashes,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass.
Drivers can expect to see a variety of common-sense safety reminders on TV, radio, social media, billboards and gas pumps as TxDOT kicks off its annual “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign in the state’s energy-producing regions. In addition, Texas Mutual Insurance Company, which helps employers prevent on-the-job incidents, is working with TxDOT to distribute educational materials to promote safe driving. The campaign asks drivers to:
- Drive a safe speed, accounting for traffic, road conditions and weather.
- Focus 100% on driving and put the phone away; no talking or texting when behind the wheel.
- Give large trucks plenty of space, be patient, and pass only when it’s safe and legal to do so.
- Obey stop signs and traffic signals.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Always buckle up—drivers and passengers, day and night.
“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel. Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of